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Saturday, June 27, 2015

SELF-PURCHASE SATURDAY -- Folding Walking Sticks

Another new feature on the blog... SELF-PURCHASE SATURDAY. Saturdays are when I'll be showing love to something I DIDN'T get for review; rather, something I actually bought with my own money. This week, I look at the walking sticks I tried to use as crutches.

Folding Walking Sticks

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
This top of the range Foldable Walking Stick snaps open in seconds ready to use, providing a strong reliable support and comfortable grip. It has been designed with convenience in mind, easily folded into four sections making it small enough to slip into your bag, carry or store away when not in use. It’s so lightweight you won’t know it’s in your bag! The Foldable Walking Stick features a moulded handle shaped for extra comfort, designed to fit perfectly into the palm of your hand. If you suffer with arthritic pain in your hands you will find the handle easy to grip without suffering. painful pressure points. The handle will give you a comfortable secure grip, so comfortable you can use it for long periods at a time.

The Foldable Walking Stick is suitable for both men and women, and suitable for different heights, just use the push button mechanism to adjust it to suit your height. It features a non-slip rubber foot enabling a firm grip on any surface, so there is no need to worry about slipping. Comes with FREE wrist strap for extra safety.

Foldable Walking Stick
Perfect size for taking on your travels
Comfortable Grip
Non Slip Rubber Ferrule
Wrist Strap
Folds into 4 sections

Specifications:
Grip (Handle) Material: Plastic
Stick Material: Aluminum
Grip (Handle) length: About 4.7" (12 cm)
Adjustable height (Handle to Floor): About 81-91cm (31.9-35.8")
Color: black, blue, coffee, gold, red, silver
Folded size: About 28 x 14cm (11 x 5.5"))
Product Weight: 290g
While I am now to the point I have accepted I need a walker with wheels, I wanted to get back to walking around on my own... or at least more upright.

But the quad cane I'd been using for the past 8-10 years has seen better days. The foam hand grip became disgustingly filthy and nasty. It also started to experience dry rot. I wrapped it in shipping tape, but even this became worn.

While the walker made it easier to get around in public, it was a pain to take places. I wasn't allowed to keep it inside the vehicle of my transportation; it had to be put in the trunk. Going to places that aren't ADA-compliant yet was more difficult and the ones helping me seemed to be annoyed having to keep getting my walker out of the trunk.

I didn't want to buy a set of traditional crutches, and I figured I'd look 'ducky' using two quad canes, so I bought myself two folding walking sticks.

The two positives to these walking sticks are the portability and the weight. These sticks fold down to less than a foot long and 6 inches high, perfectly small enough to shove into a purse or bag. These sticks are also VERY lightweight. Each stick weighs 10.22 oz. They are VERY easy to carry around.

However, the downfalls outweigh the good. I didn't feel very secure on these. I felt much more wobbly and 'weak' using these, even around the house. Even though the description says the tips are non-slip rubber, they aren't. The original tips were HARD plastic, made a LOT of noise on hard surfaces and became VERY slippery when wet. I used these when my family went to my cousin's house for Thanksgiving 2014 and the tips were sliding repetitively on their hardwood kitchen floor. I also used these going to Applebee's right before Christmas 2014, and I completely wiped out in their entryway. Granted, only thing that got hurt was my pride and I was quite embarrassed, but since I was using these to prevent a fall, I wasn't impressed. I actually ended up replacing the hard plastic tips with genuine rubber cane tips by Carex.

The handles claim to be molded to fit the palm of the hand and will be comfortable to grip. FALSE. These were also made of hard plastic, very uncomfortable to hold and my palms became extremely sweaty while using, even during winter. I tried to use gloves to combat the sweat, and that made the handles even more difficult to grip. They are an odd shape, so finding a cover for the handle would be hard to do.

I'm not 100% sure if it was the manufacturer's fault, or I'm just very rough on things, but within weeks of getting these, the elastic on one of the wrist loop had ripped out, and the wrist loop completely came off. This is a bad policy if you rely on the wrist loops to keep the sticks from falling to the floor when reaching for something on a shelf or above you.

These sticks come fully assembled, but folded up for ease of shipping. Disabled people should have no problems unfolding these; a simple flick of the wrist will set them up. However, disabled people may have issues actually folding them up. Inside the tubing of the stick is a thick, heavy elastic 'rope.' Pulling the sections apart takes some force. Another problem disabled people may have is the height adjustment. These have the push-and-slide buttons, like many mobility devices do. Disabled people may need help to adjust these to their desired height.

These sticks are available from numerous sellers on eBay, most for under $10.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Good in a pinch or for light support, but I personally wouldn't rely on them for daily use.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Only if you need light support.

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